The Florida Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for Dec. 5 over the language proposed for the November 2014 ballot that would legalize medical marijuana in the state of Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the court to throw out the proposed language. Written arguments from Bondi and United For Care, the group behind the ballot initiative, are due Nov. 8.

In California communities that developed strict regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, there have been few problems, the New York Times reports. Medical marijuana has been legal there for 17 years, and researchers say fears of increased lawlessness and use of other drugs have not been realized.

Pam Bondi Challenges Medical Marijuana Measure

Oct 25, 2013

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is challenging a proposal to allow the use of medical marijuana in the state. 

Bondi criticized the proposed amendment in a filing she made Thursday to the Florida Supreme Court. By law, the attorney general asks the court to review proposed amendments.

The Supreme Court could throw out the amendment if it agrees with Bondi.

The Republican attorney general called the amendment misleading. Bondi told the court that if passed by voters the measure would allow marijuana use in limitless situations.

John Sajo

If voters approve a constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana, about 1.6 million Floridians would be eligible to use the treatment, the Department of Health estimates. But only a fraction of those who are eligible would likely use it, according to state economists.

A TV ad from the Marijuana Policy Project that says marijuana is less toxic than alcohol is mostly true, according to PolitiFact. The Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics doesn’t have any records of deaths caused by marijuana, but attributes 41,682 deaths to alcohol in 2010. 

The Tampa Bay Times obtained a cache of prosecutors’ documents on Joshua and Sharyn Hakken, the parents charged with kidnaping their two young sons from their grandparents in Tampa and sailing to Cuba with them to seek political asylum.

While alcohol- and tobacco-related deaths have been documented, both substances remain legal, providing a source of tax revenue.  In his column in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kingsley Guy writes that while marijuana may not be entirely benign, data indicate that it is no worse than alcohol and tobacco, and may be less harmful.  He goes on to argue the benefits of legalization.

Cherie Diez / Tampa Bay Times

  John Morgan, who is financing the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, says the issue is about doing what’s right, not a ploy to bring Democrats to the polls. As the News Service of Florida reports, the Orlando attorney says he is willing to spend millions on the effort because he saw first-hand how marijuana helped his father cope with nausea and pain as he was dying of esophageal cancer.